Checkin’ In – Year ONE in Review: Lana
I have been sitting here at the computer for at least twenty minutes before I could begin this post. A review of Mic Check 1-Two!’s first year in operation sounded like a rather daunting task considering all that we’ve been blessed to do this year. I have to give thanks to God for making ALL things possible!
As Latiaynna mentioned in her personal review, we had only started out to host one panel discussion. We were fed up with how black women were being portrayed in the media and we wanted to gather people together to TALK about it– not tweet about, or text about it, but to TALK about it. Sounds simple enough, right? My testimony is proof that when God is up to something, it’s best that you just sit back and stay out of His way.
We began planning our first panel discussion: The Portrayal of the African American Woman in the Entertainment Industry, in August of 2011. It was also during this time that my grandfather and best friend became gravely ill. His condition worsened between fall and the end of the year and he passed away on November 30, 2011. His funeral was one day before our event. This was a very difficult time for me because although I wanted to be with family and continue grieving, I didn’t want to let anyone down that had helped us with or had been looking forward to our event. I had planned on rescheduling the event but my family encouraged me not to do so. They knew that my grandfather would never want me to postpone anything on his account. He was a man of great character and believed that helping people and remaining humble were key principles. With that, we decided to go forward and get ready for the event.
Our event was a success! People were energized and support was coming to us in every direction. We received countless emails and comments from different people in anticipation of our next event.
Although establishing a community organization was not our original intent, Latiaynna and I were excited about what God had in store for us so we accepted the blessing, and the challenge and began planning.
We began planning a Prom Dress Drive for young girls which quickly turned into TWO prom dress drives and a Royal Prom Treatment contest for a lucky girl. We received so much support for our Prom Dress Drives including donated space from the Good Folks at : American Dreaming Magazine and videography from Lucky Brand Productions.
We also welcomed our friend as a new partner to Mic Check 1-Two! – Portia Fullard had already been so helpful and supportive with our events, it was a no-brainer for La and I that we bring her in as a partner. I will admit, she was not jumping up to become a partner at first because of her own busy career, but time and divine intervention helped her make the decision to join us, and we’re so glad she did!
From February to April of 2012, we hosted three additional panel discussions including : The Manel: Male Perspectives on Love & Relationships, and Standing Your Ground or Standing Around: The Trayvon Martin Murder and What We Can Do about Violence and Race Relations in America. We were also invited to host a panel during the Annual Women of Color Conference at Saint Joseph’s University.
We received a great deal of media attention for our panel discussion surrounding the Trayvon Martin murder. We partnered with PA Senator Anthony Williams and Nathan Wilson of TheColorCurve.com to make this event possible. This event was the most challenging because it was planned and organized in TWO WEEKS. Did I mention, that my partner Latiaynna was out of the country until the day of the event? STRESS! This was yet another testimony to how hard we work and believe in what we do. Latiaynna was still helping Portia and I along the way by sending emails, assisting with confirmations, and website updates and always being a phone call away when I needed a quick moment of prayer and encouragement. Portia was so important in making this event possible and it was then that I realized what a mighty team God had put together and I’m so grateful to each of my partners.
Portia Fullard (left), Lana Adams (right)
These opportunities have really taught me the importance of community action and partnerships. Through our work thus far, I have begun to understand how powerful we can be when we join forces with other like-minded individuals for the greater good.
It is hard to believe that we have only been in existence for one year. I want to thank all of you for your continued support in helping us stay true to our mission of Creating community-level opportunities to encourage people to be vessels of change.
What’s Next: The 2nd Annual Inter-Communal Giveback Feast & Concert (12/21/2012), Prom Dress & Suit Drive (Spring 2013) and…a partnership that we are very excited about, but cannot share as yet.
Thank You!: Saint Joseph’s University – Valerie Dudley, Office of Multi-Cultural Life, Shamara, Jaunice Sills, Dr. Kimmika Willams-Witherspoon, Carmen Skinner, Linda Greenidge, Ms. Wise, Carmen Skinner, Stephanie Edmonds, Elaine Johnson-Adams, Evelyn Lopez, Morgan Robertson, Dedan Tolbert, Antwan Davis, Nathan Wilson, Major Rodger Woodruff II, Curran J. Swin, Aaron Owens, MyFlave.com, Janielle Edmonds, Brandi Hargette, Ashley Thomas, Andenew Ayele, Monica Brown, Taaji Senior, Meredith Keller, Elijah DonMartin, Elliot Jones-Poulson, , Anthony Fullard, State Senator Anthony H. Williams, Lorraine Ballard Morrill, State Representative Kenyatta Johnson, Joy Linn Mackey, Patricia Richardson, Curtis Wilkerson, Kevin Harden Jr., Dr. Maria Kefalas Louise Willias Bishop, Lucky Brand Productions, Philly Girl Talk, Nikki V Photography, American Dreaming Magazine, Emerging Ministries Corporation and all of our volunteers and guests.